GSD Course Bulletin - Spring 2014

This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:55:41.

Courses taught by Jana Cephas

03372: The Subject and the City (DES 0337200)

Urban Planning and Design
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Wednesday 10:00 - 1:00   20 Sumner 1C

Instructor(s)
Jana Cephas

Course Description


This seminar takes as its premise that a history and theory of the city cannot be known without an accompanying history and theory of the urban dweller. We will begin by interrogating the subject—the urban dweller as subject and the city as subject. We will interrogate the subject not as a transcendental universal consciousness but as a body and being co-produced by urban social environments. The city then is positioned as a key component in the modern project concerning the “culturation of the self.” Drawing initially on theories of subjectivity articulated by Bourdieu and Foucault, we will examine these culturations of the self by articulating a theory of reflexive spatial practice.

Topics for class sessions include: Avoiding the Subject; Techniques of the Body; Theorizing Spatial Practice; The Industrious City; Publics and Privates, Pt. 1 (or, Sex in the City); A City of One’s Own, Pt. 1 (or, The Other City); The Disembodied City; Publics and Privates, Pt. 2 (or, The Defensible City); The After City; The Sensible City; The Rhetorical City (or, Urban Legends). Although the topics covered are broad, we will reflect on examples of North American urban conditions in the early and middle part of the twentieth century. In this way, the course offers a general perspective on the co-production of subjectivities and cities while more specifically revealing essences and aspects of modern American urbanism.

Close analysis of theoretical readings is essential to the course, in addition to a theorizing of spatial practices that emerges from one’s own critical reflection of inhabitation, urbanism, and modern living. Thus, discussion and critical engagement with one’s peers are also essential to the course. Course assignments include weekly response papers and a final research paper on a topic of your choice.


GSD iCommons Website


04475: Case Studies in Critical Conservation: Strategies for Curating the Built Environment (HIS 0447500)

Architecture, Urban Planning and Design
Lecture - 4 credits
Friday 10:30 - 1:30   Gund - Gropius

Instructor(s)
Jana Cephas

Course Description

This course analyzes case studies in conservation as a means for developing projective strategies for interpreting and curating buildings, landscapes, and cities. More specifically, the course examines the use of design to conserve and convey the significance of sites. Students will conduct in-depth research and analysis of sites and their social landscapes with the aim of curating aspects of the built environment to reveal its inner histories. We will tackle the controversies inherent to urban conservation and attempt to develop proposals that engage these controversies rather than dismissing them. The first part of the course focuses on theoretical and historical readings and case studies that identify core issues relevant to interpretation planning, including material culture analysis, intangible heritage and cultural intimacy, visitor accessibility, assisting the public experience of significant sites, and policies affecting the interpretation and planning of sites. The second part of the course focuses more closely on the interpretation of urban sites, the various meanings of “conservation” in an urban context, and, in particular, the curation of the urban environment as an act of critical conservation.

Topics for class sessions include: Conservation by Design; The Historic City in Its Modern Setting; Conflict and Resolution Planning; Interpreting Modernism; Social Memory and Civic Memory; Industrial Archaeology in Principle and Practice; Public Celebration as Ephemeral Urban Planning; Reconstructing Identity; The Politics of Preserving the (Very) Recent Past; Crafting the Digital Archive; and Material Conservation and Its Social Histories.

Each student will complete a series of weekly project-based assignments that you will then discuss during the relevant class sessions. These assignments will culminate in a final project—the curation of a site of interest—that you will present during exam week.


GSD iCommons Website


05211: Cities by Design II (SES 0521100)

Urban Planning and Design
Lecture - 4 credits
Tuesday Thursday 10:00 - 11:30   Gund - Piper

Instructor(s)
Rahul Mehrotra, Eve Blau, Ricky Burdett, Jose Castillo, Jana Cephas, Peter Rowe, Christine Smith, Erkin Ozay

Course Description

The year-long ‘Cities by Design’ course is mandatory for all incoming Masters of Urban Design Students. All other students are welcome to enroll in the course by semester, and need not do so in sequence.

Cities by Design studies urban form. Each semester, 'Cities by Design' will examine six cities as case studies in order to expose students to a range of factors that affect the design of contemporary cities in various geographical contexts. The case studies will focus on both the urban condition as a whole by exploring processes of urban evolution, and on the study of urban fragments and projects. Each case study will be comprised of three or four lectures and one discussion section. The Spring Case Studies consists of Berlin, London, Mexico City, Rome, Detroit, and Mumbai.

Two main pedagogical objectives guide the course: (1) to engage students in a comparative study of cities that will broaden their definition of the ‘urban’, and (2) to build the historical framework within which they will identify the urban characteristics and design strategies that render particular cities distinct. Comparative analyses of the urban case studies will be guided by the following eight themes, which will be explored through the lectures, section discussions, and assigned readings:

1. The city's genealogy and key historical events, phases of development & patterns of growth.
2. The ways in which the terrain, geography, and infrastructural development constrain and present opportunities for the city's development and ambitions.
3. The city's planning and design culture and decision-making institutions.
4. The challenges that social equity present to planning and design in the city.
5. The orchestration of the city's relationship to the broader region.
6. How the particular city contributes to a definition of the 'urban' condition.
7. The framing and design of key urban projects/case studies.
8. The city's planning institutions, historical conditions, urban forms, or ambitions, etc. that have contributed to its iconicity in a global context.
Term grades will be based on attendance and participation in both lectures and section discussions, biweekly response papers, and a final term paper.

Faculty for Spring 2014 to include: Rahul Mehrotra and Erkin Ozay (course coordinators), with Eve Blau, Ricky Burdett, Jose Castillio, Jana Cephas, Peter Rowe, and Christine Smith.

Teaching Fellows: Ozlem Altinkaya and Olga Touloumi

No Prerequisites.


GSD iCommons Website


09302: Independent Thesis in Satisfaction of the Degree MAUD, MLAUD, or MUP (ADV 0930200)

Urban Planning and Design
Research Seminar - 8 credits

Instructor(s)
Eric Belsky, Joan Busquets, Luis Rodrigo Callejas Mujica, Jana Cephas, Daniel D'Oca, Diane Davis, Alex Krieger, Peter Rowe, A. Hashim Sarkis, Michael Hooper

Course Description

Following preparation in GSD 9204, each student pursues a topic of relevance to urban design or urban planning, which may include design or planning exploration, academic inquiry, or a combination thereof.


GSD iCommons Website


09305: Master of Design Studies Final Project (ADV 0930500)

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design
Independent Study - 8 credits

Instructor(s)
Jana Cephas, Joyce Klein-Rosenthal, Yanni Loukissas, Erika Naginski, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Susan Snyder, George Thomas

Course Description

The Final Project will consist of a theoretical/position component, and of a practical/experimental component. The scope of each of the two components will be determined according to the student's preference, and considering the specific character of the project in consultation with the area coordinator and the advisor. In exceptional cases the final project may be solely based on (expanded in scope and ambition) a theoretical component. A theoretical, written component is required for all final projects. The final project is equivalent to 8 units of coursework.

Theoretical/Position component

A written document presenting the original contribution to, and original argument for your artistic/design/research project defended within the context of current discourses in relevant disciplinary fields.

The theoretical argument must present the original methodology of the project and position it in relation to:

Practical/Experimental component

This component involves an original artistic/design project conceived, developed and presented as a public presentation, exhibition, installation, performance, action, and intervention in a physical or/and electronic space. The public presentation is a crucial part of the final project and is required. The Final Project's printed presentation as publishable document (that contains the theoretical argument and a graphic and textual presentation of the practical/experimental component)is also required.


GSD iCommons Website


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